Our time in Thailand was bookended by Bangkok. Here we explored many temples, went to some shopping malls, wandered through neighborhoods, and just discovered what the city had to offer. One of our favorite activities was just taking a boat ride down the river to whichever destination we were headed towards. This is also where we started our love affair with 7/11. Thailand has more 7/11’s than any other country and it was always a welcome sight when we found one. We frequented these, picking up everything from snacks to full blown meals, and it was always good. We definitely used it as a crutch when we didn’t want to go out to a restaurant for a meal.
On our first full day we took the skytrain into the city, then hopped onto a longtail boat to bring us down the river and to the Grand Palace. Getting off the boat we were swarmed with people trying to sell us all sorts of souvenirs. We ended up getting a skirt and pair of elephant pants to cover ourselves up, since you’re not allowed to wear shorts into any temples in Thailand. Built in 1782, and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Grand Palace was a quite impressive sight. There wasn’t much shade anywhere on the grounds and it was scorching hot and very crowded with tourists. That aside, it was still really cool to walk through and see the sights. Also located with the grounds was Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. One of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand, it contains a Buddha carved from a single block of jade (no pictures were allowed). After wandering through the Grand Palace we went over to Wat Pho, another famous temple complex. Here is home to the Reclining Buddha, which was way bigger than either of us had expected.
In Bangkok we also met up with our friend Kellen, who has been living there for some time now. It was nice to have someone who knows the area give us tips on places to go, how to say certain phrases, and answer any questions we had. One of the things we wanted to do while here was visit a night market. Suggested to us was Asiatique, a market slightly down the river with loads of restaurants and vendors selling all sorts of clothes and crafts. We had such a good time here that we returned when we came back to Bangkok with Jackie.
We also knew we had to go to one of the many rooftop bars in the city. There was a ton to choose from but we ended up going to the Sky Bar, which was made famous by “The Hangover Part II.” 63 floors up, it offered amazing views of the whole city.
After visiting both Northern and Southern Thailand, we returned to Bangkok for a few days before we flew out to Nepal. One of the temples we explored this time was Wat Arun. Also known as the Temple of Dawn, it was an impressive sight. On our last day in Bangkok we took a tour to a floating market that was just outside the city. We boarded a longtail boat and we took us down the river. The boat ride over to the market was really interesting because we went down some side canals and got a view into some of the more local houses on the river. The market itself was pretty small but we ended up buying a bunch of really cheap, really yummy snacks.
We spent an entire month in Thailand and overall we loved it! The food was great, the people were great, and we were really just starting to get accustomed to daily life there. We could have easily spent another month there, and we definitely hope to return one day. We would want to explore the north a little bit more and check out some of the other islands, but we wouldn’t be opposed to revisiting any of the places we went.